There was a blow up at my house today between me and my six year old daughter. We are just alike. What I realized today, however, was that my children have, over the course of some time, become spoiled. I never wanted a spoiled child, however, I have always striven to be the best mom I could be, sacrificing to give to them, etc. And now they believe that the world revolves around them and they do not appreciate anything that they have. But what is worst of all, my daughter has begun to lack passion for things. Today I decided to make some changes around the house. We would begin to get less until we learn to appreciate that which we have. The initial response was less-than hoped for, but we are moving forward now.
Meanwhile, seemingly unrelated, I was talking to my mom on the phone and she was telling me about one of those valleys that we all go through, when we wonder why God allows so much hardship to happen to us. Of course, my typical answer is that it is just the consequences of living in a fallen world.
As I was doing dishes, I suddenly realized that these two things are actually related to one another, extremely related. Let me explain...
We have all, at some point in our lives, been desperate for God. Desperate. As the breath that we breathe, we needed his presence, his hand in our situations, his strength, passionately desiring Him. Can you think of that time? I would bet money on the fact that this was not an easy time in your life. Quite possibly it was one of the worst times of your life. That is the connection.
Without the "valleys" of our lives, we would never experience that desperation and passion for God. If everything were peachy all the time, we would, like my daughter, lose our interest in everything, lose our appreciation for our blessings and our passion for life. Without tears, how could we experience pure joy and truly understand it? Without pain, how would we understand comfort? Without heartbreak, how would we realize true love - how would we even know it was true love without experiencing the loss of it? It is for no small reason that the saying "you never realize how much you love something until it is gone" or similar is so well known.
God wants to spoil us. God wants to give us everything. God does not want to cause us pain or suffering. But sometimes, for our own good, He allows us to endure it. This evening, my dear Spirit has spoken to my heart. I must change how I interact with my children. It is not good for me to give them everything. I must also change how I interact with my God. What do I need to strip away to be grateful of Him again? This is the focus of this household for now. May we in the near future be found desperate for Him.